Madhubani Painting – Sun God Worshiping

In Hindu tradition, the Sun is the symbol of prosperity, progress, courage and overall well-being. Sun God is believed to cure serious health problems and grant long healthy life. It’s a common daily ritual to offer ‘Arghya‘ to the rising sun to seek his blessings.

So, here in this Madhubani painting I have shown the Sun and his younger wife (Chhathi Maiyaa) on the right hand side. While on the left hand side, a woman devotee is standing in water and offering Arghya.

Madhubani painiting depicting Sun worship

Just like Madhubani Painting is the most popular folk art of Bihar, Chhath Puja is the most popular festival of Bihar. It’s also celebrated in Uttar Pradesh and Mithila region of Nepal. However, these days it’s celebrated by devotees in many parts of India.

Significance of Chhath Puja

Chhath Puja is dedicated to worship of the Sun god and his wife Chhati Maiya. It’s a common belief that Sun god’s wife Chhati Maiya fulfills the wish of having child. So, devotees perform Chhath puja to thank the Sun god and his wife for fulfilling their wishes.

My memories of Chhath Puja

Having spent most of my childhood in Bihar, I have closely seen my grandmother performing this ritual. Preparations for this festival start weeks before and lot of emphasis is given on cleanliness and purity during the preparation.

There are lots of rituals – I can recall my grandmother fasting and drinking water only after offering prayers to the rising and setting Sun. During these two days, she would even restrain herself from speaking and used to guide us only through gestures. She used to stand in water, meditate and wait for sun to rise.

All family members would gather at the river bank before sunset and sunrise (the next day) to offer ‘Arghya‘ to the Sun.

This Madhubani Painting is dedicated to Sun god and Chhathi Maiyaa

As you can see I have tried to merge both Sun and his wife. I have kept minimal use of madhubani motifs to add emphasis to focal points.

Madhubani painiting Sun motif

Focal point means where you want your viewer to focus in the painting. My two focal points in this painting are the Sun and the woman devotee. Therefore, I have not created any distraction by adding motifs between these two focal points. You can see popular Madhubani motifs in this painting by me.

Repeated arches were added to create a detailed yet not distracting background. This detailed background gives depth to this other-wise simple madhubani painting. You can learn more about madhubani background here.

Madhubani Border

Border adds frame to a painting and is important part of a painting. Here I have created repeated circles in border. Using circle in border indirectly emphasize on the circular Sun. Have a look at intricate border process in this Ganesha Madhubani painting.

Madhubani painiting depicting Sun god with border

You can easily learn Madhubani painting by reading detailed step by step instructions in this post on Madhubani painting in six easy steps.  You can read more about Madhubani painting in detail in what is Madhubani painting.

Madhubani painting can be either riot of bright colors or even a black and white Madhubani painting can be stunning.

As I have mentioned in earlier posts, objective of sharing my Madhubani paintings is to help others who are keen on learning Madhubani painting. I’m myself learning each day and have fair share of flaws. However, if I can help or inspire others in their creative journey I will be most happy.

If you like intricate art forms, do have a look at how to draw mandala? If you are familiar with joys of coloring then this free printable coloring page might interest you as well. I keep on updating art related post on Bhaili.  You can subscribe to this blog for regular updates.

So, don’t forget to pour in your suggestions and feedback in comments. Your response will encourage me in this endeavor.

Do visit and like Bhaili’s Facebook page to get regular updates. You can also find me on Pinterest. You may also subscribe to this blog by entering your email-id in EMAIL SUBSCRIPTION section (top of the right-hand column for desktop-readers and bottom of screen for mobile-readers).

Madhubani Painting in 6 Easy Steps

I have learned a lot by observing other artists’ works. Some live works while some other through different media. I strongly believe that in this Google age one can learn anything and everything if one is really determined to learn, because there are lot of generous people sharing their knowledge and skill over internet.

I used to wonder what makes these wonderful people take so much effort and share their learnings? Now I realize what made them do so. There aim is to help others so that interested people can learn.

It’s the same reason why I wanted to write this post. So that I can pass on the help I received when I started painting and wanted to learn in any way possible.

I am still learning each day as I continue to paint. However, I feel I can still share what I have learned over the period of time. Therefore, thought came that why not write a post to share my knowledge on how to do Madhubani painting.

I have completed this Madhubani painting of Radhe-Krishna in a week’s time and taken photographs in each important stage. Madhubani or Mithila is the folk art of Bihar. You can read my post on Madhubani /Mithila paintings for more information.

Few important things for whosoever gets tempted to try Madhubani painting.

  • It’s an intricate art form and takes time to complete a painting. Please don’t be in hurry to finish it. Enjoy the wonderful journey of painting.
  • It can be done on handmade sheet or any thick white sheet – no special papers needed. Just make sure you start painting on rough side of the sheet. Smooth and shiny surface makes the colors slip.
  • Traditionally, special nib is used to draw line with black ink in Madhubani art work, but that requires lot of practice. However, black marker pen can be used to draw the outline (it’s important that pen should be water resistant).
  • Water-based poster colors are used on paper while if attempting on fabric use acrylic colors. Round tip brushes are used to fill colors.

Painting Procedure

  1. I start with sketching the border. Border is important aspect of Madhubani painting and it makes the painting look complete. Continuous geometrical designs or nature-inspired motifs can be used. Border can be from ½ inch to 2 inch wide (depending on the size of the canvas you are using). Bigger the canvas wider the border. Here I have drawn a ½ inch border.

making border of madhubani painting2. Conceptualize the layout of the painting. Start with the main character and fill the remaining space later. Here, I have sketched Radha-Krishna first and then made tree, abstract peacock and fish in the given order. The idea is that abstract patterns should support the main theme. Since its Radha-Krishna, adding peacock and fish made sense. Peacock is the symbol of romance and fish stands for fertility, good luck and devotion.

madhubani painting sketching Radhe krishna

3.Repeated patterns are made to add detailing as you can see in tree trunk or the way leaves are filled. There is no fixed rule to it and any pattern that blends well with the theme can be used. Border looked too simple so I added further detailing to it. As you must have understood no space is left blank and it should be filled with detailing.

Madhubani painting adding details

Since in this painting we are following Bharni style, we fill the painting with vibrant colors. While in Kachni style it’s mostly black and white with minimum use of colors. I am biased towards Bharni style as it is more colorful and bright.

4. While filling the colors, first decide the background color and then choose the foreground colors. When background color creates contrast with the foreground colors it makes painting more appealing. Choice of colors is very crucial. So, get yourself familiarized with color-wheel to know more about color combinations.

Madhubani painting filling background color5. Once done with background color, I infuse bright colors in foreground. When in doubt, start with adding obvious colors. Like tree trunk will be brown and leaves will be green, skin tone of Radha and Krishna, peacock will again be in shade of blue. After this it will be easy to visualize and choose other colors.

Madhubani painting adding colors6. You can leave the background as filled with single color but Madhubani painting is all about intricate patterns. So I add repeated pattern with black color (shown below) and fine tip round brush all over the background.

Madhubani with Background PatternThe painting is complete and ready to be framed. Decorate your home or your workplace or you can even gift it to someone.

Madhubani Painting
Madhubani painting ready to be framed

There is nothing more special than gifting handmade gifts. Like I gifted my friend personalized name-plate as house warming gift and she really loved it.

I am flabbergasted when I see the works of acclaimed Madhubani artisits Bharti Dayal and Vidushini Pandit. They have taken the Madhubani Paintings to great heights and their efforts have made this folk art more popular.

If you are fond of mono color paintings. Have a look at one of mine black and white madhubani painting.

I don’t claim to be an expert. I am sharing here what I have learned and explained here in best possible manner.

I will keep updating this page if I feel anything else can be helpful too. If you think some information is missed or anything else can be mentioned here please bring it to my knowledge and I will update it.

Thanks for reading and do share your feedback as your viewpoint may help some other readers too.

Do visit and like Bhaili’s Facebook page to get regular updates. You can also find me on Pinterest. You may also subscribe to this blog by entering your email-id in EMAIL SUBSCRIPTION section (top of the right-hand column for desktop-readers and bottom of screen for mobile-readers).